Discussion:
Advice request - encountering poor quality university research
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Geoffrey Sinclair
2020-09-18 08:23:59 UTC
Permalink
As the subject says I am after advice what to do.

The work in question is
https://eprints.qut.edu.au/87976/6/James_Rorrison_Thesis.pdf

"The political decisions and policy leading to the Royal Australian Air
Force having no fighters or interceptors for the coming war against Japan."
Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology.

I found the work to have so many problems I ended up generating around a 1.5
Mb text file of quotes from the thesis and notes about what was in the
thesis. I sent it to the relevant academics and after an email exchange
they propose to do nothing, as the thesis was externally examined. However
before that comes the sign off by the supervisors that the thesis is worthy
of examination and the examiners are therefore entitled to assume basic fact
checking has been done. Two quotes from the correspondence,

"as an Institution QUT has confidence in the quality and merit of the
thesis."

"you need to seek an alternative outlet for your work, perhaps an
appropriate internet forum."

It seems no papers were written based on the thesis, so the only public
source is the QUT web site.

Over and above the factual problems is the thesis needed more proof reading,
to catch things like footnotes not matching, and dates, like Bismarck being
sunk in 1940 and again in 1941.

I am not including my full set of notes they make for tedious reading, given
the repetitive and at time disjointed nature of the thesis (and my writing
style). Trying to figure out what the time period being discussed can be
quite hard. An example,

"Halfway through the Beaufort program, the British terminated the supply of
vital parts, reneging on their contract of exporting template numbers of
Beauforts as examples for the DAP, failed to buy Beauforts from CAC,
retained the Sunderlands ordered for the RAAF and disparaged the Wirraway
without supplying an alternative such as the Hurricane being sent to Russia
in large numbers."
No date is given, the Australian Bristol Beaufort program half way point
could be any time, from order to last aircraft, from order to half way
aircraft, from start of production to etc. The order dates from mid 1939,
production ended in August 1944. The British exported 1 pattern Beaufort,
as agreed, it arrived in 1940. The Australian government took over the RAF
order Beauforts in 1942, the RAAF retained the Sunderlands in Britain in
1939, the Wirraway comments date from 1938, the USSR shipments from the
second half of 1941.

The title only gives a part view of the material covered as the thesis comes
to the conclusion there was enough obvious information and aircraft
available early enough that the RAAF could, even should, have had at least a
fighter force of a couple of hundred or more fighters able to match the
Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero in place as part of a proper air defence system at
Darwin in mid February 1942, along with a viable counter attack force of
Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers.

The thesis makes use of David Irving as a source on Winston Churchill, here
is an extract from the libel trial judgement from
https://www.hdot.org/judge/

"The charges which I have found to be substantially true include the charges
that Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and
deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence; that for
the same reasons he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favourable
light, principally in relation to his attitude towards and responsibility
for the treatment of the Jews; that he is an active Holocaust denier; that
he is anti-semitic and racist and that he associates with right wing
extremists who promote neo-Nazism."

The thesis says WWII had intercontinental bombers.

Phrases like "Japanese deployed their Army Zero-Zen as a naval fighter"

The Japanese "traditionally they were not restricted by inter-services'
rivalry and obsolete thinking" which would overturn about a century of
histories on the size of the Japanese Army versus Navy rivalries.

Adolf Galland, Luftwaffe fighter pilot, is the thesis source for British
radar and fighter defences.

There is little information on what aircraft were historically available, in
what quantities and when, despite this being a key factor in what could be
done. The thesis uses the description of the US industry from the 1938
British mission to the US to note the industry was hungry for orders and so
able to deliver the thesis concluded requirements at the thesis concluded
time and this description apparently applies all the way to end 1941.

The thesis considers the RAAF should have had dive bombers in 1941 and they
were overlooked as a type but is unaware over 200 were on order from the US
as offsets from an RAF order, initial deliveries promised for June 1941, but
production was well behind schedule and in the end a different design had to
be substituted, Brewster Bermuda to Vultee Vengeance.

Robert Menzies, Australian Prime Minister, 1941 trip, depart Australia 24
January to Singapore, Middle East 2 February, England 20 February, stayed
around 10 weeks, still there on 30 April, to Canada, 10 May in USA, home 26
May. The thesis notes when in the Middle East Menzies did not consult
experienced RAAF personnel on air defence, using as an example Clive
Caldwell, a man who did not arrive in the Middle East until April 1941 as a
new trainee.

As for RAAF experience, 3 Squadron RAAF, arrived Egypt in August 1940
initially equipped with Lysander Army co-operation, gained Gladiator and
Gauntlet biplane fighters in September, the Gauntlets were removed in
December, the Lysander in January 1941. Hurricanes added in late January,
Gladiators removed in early February. First air combat on 19 November 1940.

The Curtiss P-40 fighter, A to C models called Tomahawk, D and later models
Kittyhawk, the thesis has it present in the Australian units Western Desert
of North Africa in December 1940 as a fighter bomber, the Tomahawk versions
were not fighter bombers and the only Australian squadron to be equipped
with the Tomahawk was number 3, receiving the first of them on 17 May 1941.
The first allied fighter bomber sorties in the western desert were on 20
November 1941 by Hurricanes.

The thesis uses quotes from newspapers as sources, including wartime ones
despite the inevitable censorship, rather than the relevant official
documents.

The thesis cannot find any evidence the Bristol Beaufort in RAAF service
sank a ship, there is no consultation of the post war JANAC and USSBS
Japanese shipping loss reports, but as the Beauforts did not sink a ship
they therefore could not sink a ship. The first RAAF Beaufort combat
sorties were at night, therefore the Beaufort only did night raids.

Three data tables the thesis uses, from the British Cabinet, the RAAF
official history and an RAAF publication are all misquoted. The various
British Cabinet documents quoted are available to see on the British
National Archives web site, if anyone feels like it they can check to see if
they have the difficulties I had at times matching what the cabinet document
says to what the thesis says is says.

Lend Lease was passed on 11 March 1941, before that it was being able to
generate US dollars to pay for the items, the backlog of orders meant Lend
Lease material started significant deliveries from 1942 onwards. The thesis
has Lend Lease available in 1940.

The RAAF placed two orders for Short Sunderland flying boats, one in 1939,
one 1943. The 1939 order stayed in Britain with the unit meant to operate
them moving to join the aircraft, not the pre war plan of the other way
around. The 1943 order were delivered in 1944. The thesis says one order
and look how long it took to be filled.

The thesis states the US was trialing its first line aircraft in China, from
perhaps as early as 1932, or at least 1937 onwards. The P-40B was flown in
China pre 7 December 1941 encountering Zeros, whereas the AVG did not go
into action until post 7 December and did not meet Zeros. General Claire
Chennault sent to China in 1937 "under orders from Roosevelt to organise and
command the clandestine AVG, the Flying Tigers"

By the looks of things, the thesis has when discussing the 1937 Japanese
invasion of China and the Nanking massacre. "The US response, apart from
the token AVG, was to continue making diplomatic protests but even after one
of its patrol boats, the Panay, was sunk by Japanese divebombers, no
retaliation was threatened" Panay in 1937, AVG in 1941.

The thesis has Sweden ordering P-40 which became the AVG aircraft, they were
ordered before Sweden was over run, presumably by neutrality. There was no
Swedish P-40 order.

And so on.

Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.
a425couple
2020-09-18 17:40:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
As the subject says I am after advice what to do.
The work in question is
https://eprints.qut.edu.au/87976/6/James_Rorrison_Thesis.pdf
"The political decisions and policy leading to the Royal Australian Air
Force having no fighters or interceptors for the coming war against
Japan." Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology.
I will admit I probably can give no worthwhile advise,
but I agree with, and console with you.

There certainly appears to be a decreased interest in,
and knowledge about WWII in recent years.

So this James Rorrison, got a BA. (With 'honors' !!)
And presumptively for his career advancement he wants
to get a PhD. So, he needs to write a 'thesis'.
And he picked one he felt was soooo ancient and
irrelevant, that nobody would fact check.

HA! Fooled him! You caught the little ignorant
sloppy reseacher.
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
I found the work to have so many problems I ended up generating around a
1.5 Mb text file of quotes from the thesis and notes about what was in
the thesis.
But, presumably his faculty advisor and those doing
his peer review, don't give a shit.
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
I sent it to the relevant academics and after an email
exchange they propose to do nothing, as the thesis was externally
examined.  However before that comes the sign off by the supervisors
that the thesis is worthy of examination and the examiners are therefore
entitled to assume basic fact checking has been done.  Two quotes from
the correspondence,
"as an Institution QUT has confidence in the quality and merit of the
thesis."
"you need to seek an alternative outlet for your work, perhaps an
appropriate internet forum."
It seems no papers were written based on the thesis, so the only public
source is the QUT web site.
Over and above the factual problems is the thesis needed more proof
reading, to catch things like footnotes not matching, and dates, like
Bismarck being sunk in 1940 and again in 1941.
Kids nowdays.
And, horror of horrors, the supervisors are all
careless kids also!!
And they like this Rorrison, and want him for a co-worker.
And you are outside their little review circle.

When the kids mock you do they call you "Boomer" ?
Or some other generation label?
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
The thesis makes use of David Irving as a source on Winston Churchill,
here is an extract from the libel trial judgement from
https://www.hdot.org/judge/
"The charges which I have found to be substantially true include the
charges that Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and
deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence; that
for the same reasons he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly
favourable light,
Sigh, for the days when we had a moderator that could
silence them from soc.history.war.world.war.ii or wherever!

I suppose this brat kid 'Rorrison' thinks he has
freedom of speech, and can spout what he wants.

Oh Sheesh,
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
Robert Menzies, Australian Prime Minister, 1941 trip, depart Australia
24 January to Singapore, Middle East 2 February, England 20 February,
stayed around 10 weeks, still there on 30 April, to Canada, 10 May in
USA, home 26 May. The thesis notes when in the Middle East Menzies did
not consult experienced RAAF personnel on air defence, using as an
example Clive Caldwell, a man who did not arrive in the Middle East
until April 1941 as a new trainee.
Some bad apples just keep slopping rotting juice
all over.
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
Geoffrey Sinclair
Take care my friend.
And recognize, these young kids might someday
pick out an assisted living location for us!
Geoffrey Sinclair
2020-09-19 06:31:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by a425couple
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
As the subject says I am after advice what to do.
The work in question is
https://eprints.qut.edu.au/87976/6/James_Rorrison_Thesis.pdf
"The political decisions and policy leading to the Royal Australian Air
Force having no fighters or interceptors for the coming war against
Japan." Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology.
I will admit I probably can give no worthwhile advise,
but I agree with, and console with you.
Thanks.
Post by a425couple
There certainly appears to be a decreased interest in,
and knowledge about WWII in recent years.
Which is quite normal and natural, lots more history to learn since then,
the
trouble being the rewrites by the haters who want to continue what the Nazis
did and how some of these are working.
Post by a425couple
When the kids mock you do they call you "Boomer" ?
No, I show them a stick of gelignite and point out what booms do. :-)

(Warning displaying explosives in public can lead to complications
with people in blue, red and other primary colour outfits, and/or mottled
green/brown etc. outfits, so always remember replicas work quite well
for demonstration purposes)

There I was in the library one day, while the next desk was being used
to do a tutorial on workplace safety, so I showed them the photograph
in the book I was looking at, of an ammunition ship exploding.
Post by a425couple
Or some other generation label?
I object, I have certified myself ageless.
Post by a425couple
Take care my friend.
You too.
Post by a425couple
And recognize, these young kids might someday
pick out an assisted living location for us!
Do not worry, I can wire it for demolition. :-)

Long ago and far away I was treated to an explanation of a meeting about
a new digital fuse, it used an 32? (or more) bit code, but only checked the
first bit before deciding what to do. So one passing cosmic ray or one
little
spike on the line.....

To sort of make it really clear explosives and I do not mix socially, nor in
a work situation.

Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.
Peter Stickney
2020-09-19 05:15:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
As the subject says I am after advice what to do.
The work in question is
https://eprints.qut.edu.au/87976/6/James_Rorrison_Thesis.pdf
Will be downloading this for my own examination
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
"The political decisions and policy leading to the Royal Australian Air
Force having no fighters or interceptors for the coming war against
Japan." Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of
Technology.
The title itself bodes ill.
After reading your notes, I think I'll read this thing with gloves on.
I don't know which disappoints me more - the poor quality of the work, or
the attitude of the University.

Feoff, as an addendum - I have not been able to locate any useful
information of very early Lend-Lease from the U.S. to Australia, and any
losses in shipping.

It's quite a challenge - that period was, of course, desperate and
chaotic, with no planning, sticking cargo into/onto anything floating
going in the right direction, and records being catch-as-catch can.
--
Peter Stickney
From the Foothills of the Florida Alps.
Geoffrey Sinclair
2020-09-19 06:31:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stickney
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
As the subject says I am after advice what to do.
The work in question is
https://eprints.qut.edu.au/87976/6/James_Rorrison_Thesis.pdf
Will be downloading this for my own examination
Thanks, it will be good to get a second opinion, but at over 300 pages
it will take a chunk of time. If you want my full notes let me know.
Post by Peter Stickney
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
"The political decisions and policy leading to the Royal Australian Air
Force having no fighters or interceptors for the coming war against
Japan." Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of
Technology.
The title itself bodes ill.
After reading your notes, I think I'll read this thing with gloves on.
I don't know which disappoints me more - the poor quality of the work, or
the attitude of the University.
I would suggest they are linked, it is an attitude that leads to poor
quality.
Post by Peter Stickney
Feoff, as an addendum - I have not been able to locate any useful
information of very early Lend-Lease from the U.S. to Australia, and any
losses in shipping.
It's quite a challenge - that period was, of course, desperate and
chaotic, with no planning, sticking cargo into/onto anything floating
going in the right direction, and records being catch-as-catch can.
Thanks for trying, it was similar at the other end. I did find what I was
after, so to add some military aviation content.

The RAAF used A29 for Kittyhawks, A29-1 to 163 for E, 164 to 203 for
K, 300 to 389 for M but also for 204 and 205 for a pair of P-40M that
arrived well after the other M models and after delivery of N models
had begun, serials A29-400 and later.

Dates are for the report week ending, year is 1943, entries for P-40
orders

15 April, Total now enroute includes 4 offloaded at Wellington NZ.

The above message is repeated in subsequent reports until,

6 May, 4 of At Sea offloaded at Wellington; report on their condition now
to hand and decision re disposal under consideration.

The notes on offloaded at Wellington continue, then,

17 June, 4 of At Sea offloaded in Wellington, a report on the condition of
which indicates the fuselages are not repairable whilst the engines may
possibly be rebuilt if spares available. The RNZAF requested to salvage
all serviceable and repairable components and consign them to Sydney.

Notes on the offloaded at Wellington continue until, P-40,

12 August, number received during week, total number received and total
struck off, awaiting conversion etc. figures all noted as including 4
aircraft
offloaded at Wellington in a damaged condition and suitable only for
conversion to components.

A29-204/43-5411 and also A29-205/43-5424, both received 5 Aircraft Deport,
Wagga NSW, 9 September 1943, approved for conversion 12 October 1943,
and that is their total RAAF history.

While looking for a report on Vultee Vengeances that had been extensively
flown in the US before being sent to the RAAF I managed to find a report
with
the other two P-40 serials I was after. 43-5431, 43-5433 both P-40M.

So of the four damaged aircraft, two were given RAAF serials before
scrapping and two were not. The ship was the Tweedbank, damage
done in a Hurricane. RAN says depart Balboa 23 February, arrive
Wellington 22 March.

On another note I contacted the Naval History people at the Washington
Navy Yard

"Thank you for reaching out. Our collection of Aircraft History Cards was
recently transferred to the National Naval Aviation Museum"

Which is at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, they have not replied
to my message, which is probably not that surprising. Is Pensacola within
current swimming distance given the weather?

Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.

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